Information Asset Value: Some Cold-Hearted Calculations

Data Security: One of Forrester's Top 15 IT Technologies to Watch

What did I learn from the McAfee analyst day? Colin Powell knows a lot about information security

I attended McAfee’s analyst day at its FOCUS 09 Security Conference last week in Las Vegas. It was interesting to see former army general and Secretary of State General, Colin Powell, addressing an information security audience. He attended the same university as I did — City College of New York — so I especially enjoyed cheering on a fellow alum. His speech was very relevant to the security arena, as he discussed the danger of vulnerabilities within any information system and the critical need to safeguard against them. Of course, it fit very well with McAfee’s story, as McAfee CEO, Dave DeWalt did a good job continuing the military theme. However, I still left with feeling of wanting more — perhaps expecting McAfee leaders to say something more concrete about what it all means for them. Do they want to help with cybercrime, cybersecurity, and critical information protection? Will they be working more closely with government in information security initiatives?

(On a positive note, Colin Powell became an unexpected customer reference, as he mentioned recently licensing McAfee antivirus for his personal laptop.)

Along with many executive briefings I had with product managers and marketing folks, there were several highlights for me:

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Where are all the emergency exits?

Rob Whiteley

That was honestly a question at our recent Security Forum. During every keynote, we collect questions for the audience and one of the attendees took the time to write down: “Can you please have someone from the hotel staff come and inform us of the evacuation plan. Specifically, where are all the emergency exits?”

I love putting on these events. I mean, seriously, only at a security and risk management conference do you get people worried about emergency evacuation plans.

But it did get me thinking and I asked myself: What are the best and worst audience questions from the forum? The event was based on the three shifts we see reshaping the security and risk management landscape in 2010. So I culled through the 78 unanswered question cards we rounded up from our eight keynotes. Here’s a quick breakdown of what was on our security execs minds:

App security: 2
Data security: 3
General information risk: 3
Social media security: 4
General threats and exploits: 6
Security talent and staffing: 7
Outsourcing: 9
Cloud computing: 14
BYOPC: 30

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